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  1. #1
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    A few IGH drivetrain questions

    I'm putting together a build around a new Shimano Alfine 11 internally geared hub (specs here: http://www.kstoerz.com/freespoke/hub/190).

    I already have a Shimano Tiagra FC4500 crankset set up (http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Crankset.aspx), which has two rings (39-52).

    Obviously, since I'm going to run an IGH, I only want one chainring. I was thinking of going with a 42T chainring (and a 22T cog).

    I have a few questions:
    --Can I just remove the current chainrings and put any 44T 5-bolt chainring on? Do I need to get a fixed gear/single speed-specific chainring for any reason (if such a thing even exists)?
    --Am I going to have any problem with the chainline? I had assumed that I could just throw a new chainring on my current cranks, swap out the hub, and the chainline would just sort of line up. Is this assumption off base? There's no chance I'd need to get a different crankset, is there?
    --I assume I'll need a fixed gear/single speed chain, right?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You may be able to use an inner of a double chainring,
    though Surly's Stainless steel chainrings are very nice.
    [that's what I used on my Rohloff Hub bike]
    Older pre index chainrings may work .. its the rampe and shifting aides you want to avoid.

    chain .. match the cog on the hub .. 3/32" or 1/8''

    single speed chains don't need the short flush pins that derailleur chains have featured

    you can use a wider 1/8" chain on narrower 3/32" chainrings

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    You really believe that ramps and pins on the side of a ring will have some effect on the chain when that ring is used as a single? That's ridiculous! The chain will never contact those ramps and pins. The fact the teeth tend to be shorter doesn't cause problems either.

  4. #4
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelcommute View Post
    I'm putting together a build around a new Shimano Alfine 11 internally geared hub (specs here: http://www.kstoerz.com/freespoke/hub/190).

    I already have a Shimano Tiagra FC4500 crankset set up (http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Crankset.aspx), which has two rings (39-52).

    Obviously, since I'm going to run an IGH, I only want one chainring. I was thinking of going with a 42T chainring (and a 22T cog).

    I have a few questions:
    --Can I just remove the current chainrings and put any 44T 5-bolt chainring on? Do I need to get a fixed gear/single speed-specific chainring for any reason (if such a thing even exists)?
    --Am I going to have any problem with the chainline? I had assumed that I could just throw a new chainring on my current cranks, swap out the hub, and the chainline would just sort of line up. Is this assumption off base? There's no chance I'd need to get a different crankset, is there?
    --I assume I'll need a fixed gear/single speed chain, right?
    I just built a bike with the 11 speed Alfine. Loved it, but, sad to say, after no more than 100 miles, I just sent the hub back to Shimano as it started to go south inside. We shall see how good their warranty service is and how the replacement holds up.

    Don in Austin

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the early feedback, folks.

    Don, I'm so sorry to hear about your bad experience. 100 miles? Damn. I'd be very interested to hear how their warranty service is an how the replacement holds up.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    I use old-type 5/6/7-speed chain that was originally on my bike with a 3-speed IGH. I even still have the triple crankset. As long as the chainline is fairly good and the chain isn't hanging loose, you shouldn't have a problem. I would just keep the double crankset you have, maybe filing down the teeth of the larger chainring to make a chainring guard as a few others have done.

  7. #7
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    Keep your 39t ring and get a 20t cog instead. That would give you a gearing very similar to 42-22.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cross Creek's Avatar
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    If the 11 spd Alfine uses the same cogs as the 3/7/8 spd Nexus/Alfine hubs, you can mount it with the teeth facing either inward or outward (makes more sense when you see it in person). This allows quite a bit of chainline adjustment. +2 on using the inner 39 tooth chainring and turning the outer into a guard, but there are lots of options, some requiring a shorter BB spindle, and yes, there are certainly single speed chainrings available. BTW, chainrings come in different bolt circle diameters, so they're not all interchangeable by number of bolts--measure your center to center bolt distance (in millimeters) between two adjacent bolt holes if it's not marked on the spider or chainring.
    CC

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Creek View Post
    If the 11 spd Alfine uses the same cogs as the 3/7/8 spd Nexus/Alfine hubs, you can mount it with the teeth facing either inward or outward (makes more sense when you see it in person). This allows quite a bit of chainline adjustment. +2 on using the inner 39 tooth chainring and turning the outer into a guard, but there are lots of options, some requiring a shorter BB spindle, and yes, there are certainly single speed chainrings available. BTW, chainrings come in different bolt circle diameters, so they're not all interchangeable by number of bolts--measure your center to center bolt distance (in millimeters) between two adjacent bolt holes if it's not marked on the spider or chainring.
    CC
    Hadn't even considered different center to bolt distances--thanks for the tip.

    The only reason I was thinking about 44/22 over 39/20 was because most of the chainguards I've been looking at are for larger 44T chainrings. I suppose there's nothing stopping me from using a larger chainguard and smaller chainring, though, right? (although it seems that it may look a little odd...)

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bigger chainguard can be a more effective greasy trouser leg protection.

    Cyclocrossworld.com has a bunch of chainguards, nicely finished in black annodize.
    http://cyclocrossworld.stores.yahoo....okalchain.html

    I got a 110- 38 for my R'off bike , replaced the Stronglight Mygal which has a 130 39t guard.
    Self extracting fixing bolt stripped out the crank arm without budging it.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-02-11 at 02:33 PM.

  11. #11
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    Hmmm, I was thinking of a chainguard that offers more coverage (at least a "hockey stick" style one--maybe one like this: http://www.amazon.com/SKS-22907D0400...9096108&sr=1-8). They seem to be made pretty exclusively for relatively larger sized chainrings.

    You've used the circular chainring guards--are they fairly effective (against both staining and catching a pant leg)?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    The circular guards do a fairly good job in my experience at keeping clothes out of the chain. Your trouser leg may get a bit grubby though from the upper run of the chain. You should get on alright with the linked chain guard as this covers the upper chain as well as the whole chainring. Although it is listed as for 42-44 tooth rings it should still protect a 39t.

  13. #13
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    Got it. Thanks.

  14. #14
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelcommute View Post
    I
    I have a few questions:
    --Can I just remove the current chainrings and put any 44T 5-bolt chainring on? Do I need to get a fixed gear/single speed-specific chainring for any reason (if such a thing even exists)?
    --Am I going to have any problem with the chainline? I had assumed that I could just throw a new chainring on my current cranks, swap out the hub, and the chainline would just sort of line up. Is this assumption off base? There's no chance I'd need to get a different crankset, is there?
    --I assume I'll need a fixed gear/single speed chain, right?
    -You need to replace your chainring bolts with "short"/"single speed" chainring bolts.
    -The drivetrain will be more efficient if you sort out the chainline. However, you don't have to do it. After all derailleurs always operate with bad chainlines and IGHs are much more robust.
    -You don't need fixed gear/single speed chain. In fact, IMO with the Alfine 3/32" "8-9 speed" chain is preferable...although 11/128" "10 speed" chain will cause problems.

  15. #15
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    -The drivetrain will be more efficient if you sort out the chainline....
    I just measured my Tiagra double cranks, if he used the inner ring position on the cranks and flips the Shimano Alfine cog inward he'll be within a millimeter or two of perfect chainline.

  16. #16
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    I just measured my Tiagra double cranks, if he used the inner ring position on the cranks and flips the Shimano Alfine cog inward he'll be within a millimeter or two of perfect chainline.
    In addition to the cranks themselves, with square taper bottom brackets the spindle length and taper (ISO vs JIS) will also affect chainline. Splined bottom brackets fortunately do not have taper, but I'm not sure if they have different spindle lengths.

    If the OP really wanted to perfect the chainline he could also get a mm or two of additional adjustment by using a non-Shimano cog. There's a table for adjusting chainline via cog selection here:
    http://www.hubgear.net/sprockets.html

  17. #17
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Sorry, I assumed his cranks were Tiagra 2 piece cranks, if it's a 3 piece set-up you're right.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Hebie chain-gliders enclose the chain fully,plastic, in 38 and 42 t sizes, the back portion either
    for Shimano Or Rohloff IG Hubs.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    I just measured my Tiagra double cranks, if he used the inner ring position on the cranks and flips the Shimano Alfine cog inward he'll be within a millimeter or two of perfect chainline.
    Nice! Yeah, I've got the 2 piece.

    And thanks everyone else for your great suggestions too. Those Herbie Chaingliders look great--I hadn't seen those before.

  20. #20
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    You can get chainring spacers for additional fine-tuning, or just use washers. I would try to do that before messing with the BB.

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